Plansmith Blog

Transform Your Budget into RESULTS in 7 Steps

Posted by Jenny Kane on 1/5/22 12:17 PM

Each January, we love to set resolutions. We painstakingly choose a lofty goal or two and optimistically embark, declaring, “this will be THE year for change!”.

Unfortunately, we often lose steam and quickly return to what is comfortable. For lack of a better term, we fail. We fail to change our approach and to reach our goals.

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Three Most Frequent Pitfalls of Interest Rate Risk Management Programs

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 12/1/21 9:15 AM

Establishing and maintaining a sound interest rate risk (IRR) program is crucial to ensure proper balance sheet structure and comply with Regulatory expectations. During my 20+ years as a senior FDIC examiner, I routinely saw organizations experiencing issues with their ALM/IRR practices, ranging from loose misunderstandings of the guidance to critical errors that put the health of the organization at risk. Unfortunately, in my current advisory role, I see the same issues all too often.

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Surge Deposits: Here We Go Again

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 11/4/21 8:56 AM

It seems like just yesterday (okay, it was a year ago) that I had just written a blog declaring the end to, or “the death of,” Surge Deposits. In that post, I had noted how at the time of, and following the 2007-2009 Great Recession, the banking industry saw a substantial influx of deposits as real estate and equity investors liquidated positions and sought safe places to store their money and ride out the storm. I further noted that as CD rates plummeted during, and following the economic crisis, CD holders weren’t being provided with any incentive to have their money “locked” into time deposits. As time deposits matured, CD holders routinely moved their balances into more liquid non-maturity deposits (NMDs). These former CD holders were essentially temporarily “parking” their money in NMD accounts, just waiting for CD rates to return to what they believed were more “normal” levels, at which time they’d move the balances back into time deposits.

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Should You Focus on CECL in 2021? The Short Answer is YES

Posted by Brett Hendricks on 10/5/21 2:23 PM

2020 was an unprecedented year. Just when you finished creating a budget, it was decimated by the economic crisis. From there, time was spent reforecasting, helping allocate PPP loans, and adjusting to changing rate environments. Fast forward a year, and we’re slowly starting to get back to business as usual.

In addition to the usual financial planning, what do regulators want you to focus on in 2021? For most financial institutions, it’s going to be CECL.

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Go Beyond Just Budgeting: Build A Playbook & Control Your Results

Posted by Craig Hartman on 9/30/21 1:38 PM

Are you really planning, or are you just budgeting?

By this I mean, are you just filling out the numbers on a spreadsheet by trending? It is gratifying when all the numbers come together in a neat package showing expected growth and earnings for next year. Along the way there were probably many contributors who verbally expressed their goals and plans for the year. Then, once the budget is done, it gets presented to and accepted by the board. As each month passes, comparisons are made of the budget “predictions” to reality. Variances from “budget” are explained, and business continues. In essence, that’s budgeting.

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When in Doubt, Peel the Onion

Posted by Sue West on 9/8/21 8:58 AM

Although we develop software to mathematically convert ideas into measurable outcomes, we have always viewed Plansmith as an education company. Not education as in ‘a + b = c,’ but in the way relationships and behaviors drive a financial outcome. This year, we are introducing a new educational solution called Budget Playbook. This online tool connects vision with purpose and execution to help you reach your budget targets. At Plansmith, we use Budget Playbook to dive into the relationship between ideation and plan execution to foster communication and drive better results.

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Planning Doesn’t Stop At 5:00 On Friday

Posted by David Schwieder on 8/4/21 12:59 PM

At Plansmith, we focus on not only helping our clients with preparing an annual budget, but identifying the action items involved in making the plan come to fruition. When you work all week helping banks and credit unions do a better job of planning, it’s probably not uncommon to take a step away on the weekend and refresh the batteries.

But do we ever really stop planning?

Last year, shortly before COVID hit, I was making plans (there’s that word again) to attend a concert at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. Since this was a general admission show, my goal was to arrive early in order to be relatively close to the stage. If you’re a bank or credit union CFO, think of this as my desired ROI.

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Planning: Many Aspects, One Purpose

Posted by Sue West on 7/7/21 3:32 PM

I’m often asked, “What are the differences between a plan, a budget, forecasting, reforecasting, what-ifs, and stress testing?” Although some of the actions are similar and often intermingled in conversation, it’s their purpose that defines them. If you’re a client, most even involve similar keystrokes using your Plansmith software navigation; yet each plays a unique role within your organization’s total planning process. Let’s discuss.

Budget

To start, everyone’s familiar with a budget, but let’s make sure we see it for what it really is. A budget is a prediction or forecast of a financial position at a set time in the future, typically one year. A budget represents a desired financial outcome and requires consent by your board of directors. Most often a Budget is primarily thought of as cost allocations, but when combined with the ideas regarding new business you will often hear it referred to as a Plan. Once approved, the Budget Plan never changes. It is ‘set in stone’ for the duration of your selected time period.

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What Your Board Needs to Know and How to Train Them

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 6/2/21 9:51 AM

Regulatory guidance states that the board of directors has the ultimate responsibility for the risks undertaken by an institution – including interest rate risk (IRR) and liquidity management.

The board is typically made up of a diverse group of individuals from varying backgrounds and career paths. Unlike most positions within a financial institution, a board member does not necessarily come from a banking background. One board could easily include a local entrepreneur, a farmer, a financial planner, a retired financial institution CEO, and a local insurance agent; while another board could be comprised of almost all former bankers. It’s often the most differing group in a similar role across financial institutions – so, since one size does not fit all, how do you train directors for their position on the board?

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PPP Loans: Your Top 3 Questions Answered!

Posted by Jennifer Mello on 3/4/21 3:00 PM

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are a strange new addition to every banker’s reality. The role of the community bank and credit union has always been to serve customers and local businesses with compassion and trust. This responsibility has only been amplified by the current situation.

PPP loans help ensure businesses have funding to stay open and continue to pay their employees through the uncertainty of the crisis. Financial institutions play an essential role by assisting in creating, processing, approving, and allocating these loans.

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